• Efo Riro Nigerian Soup Recipe with Pounded Yam

    Efo riro is a traditional yoruba dish served in many homes that are not always from the Yoruba culture. It is sometimes served at different important occasions in Nigeria. This is the staple vegetable soup in some parts of Nigeria. What makes this soup interesting for me is the ability to eat it as a stand alone meal if you are on a diet. You can also eat it with other carbohydrate accompaniments. People eat the soup with white rice, plantain, yam etc. Depending on the leaves you use for efo riro, the meal is very high in essential nutrients.

    I used spinach for my efo riro as spinach is high in vitamin A, C, E and K. Originally the leaves used are called Sokoyokoto which is also known as Callaloo by the Carribean people. Spinach is a great source of Iron which is especially important for women to help re-build our red blood cells. Hope you enjoy the Afrolems version of Efo riro as I have chosen to add different types of protein in mine. Remember this is entirely optional and dependent on how you want to recreate this dish.

    Recipe for Efo Riro 


    3 Bunches of Spinach (2 packs of Frozen spinach) or Sokoyokoto (Short for Soko)

    2 Pounds Beef

    Beef Tripe (1 pound)

    1 pound Goat Meat

    1 pound Cow leg

    5 Medium Tomatoes

    3 Scotch bonnet Peppers

    1 red bell pepper

    2 medium bulbs of onion

    1 tablespoon locust beans (iru)

    1.5 cooking spoons of palm oil

    Seasoning cubes

    Salt to taste

    1 tablespoon of dry pepper

    1 tablespoon of crayfish powder


    * Wash, season and bring all meats to boil. Season with salt, seasoning cubes, 1 medium onion chopped, 1 tablespoon of dry pepper and boil till meat is tender. You would need to take out some of the other meats when soft because the cow leg would take a longer time to soften. 

    *Blend tomatoes, bell pepper and scotch bonnet peppers and boil till water dries.

    *If using raw spinach, wash and blanch your spinach to get rid of excess water and shred.

    *Heat up palm oil and pour in chopped onions and fry till onions become translucent.

    *Pour in blended mix and fry on medium heat at first then reduce the heat and fry for about 8-10 minutes. 

    *Add your stock, seasoning cubes, crayfish powder, locust beans and salt if necessary and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.

    *Add fried meats and stir in, reduce the heat and allow the sauce to fry properly. The sauce is close to ready when it has started drying up a bit and the oil is now floating on the surface of the stew.

    *Add the chopped spinach, stir in and immediately take off the heat and allow the heat of the sauce cook the vegetable so you do not lose the nutrients.

    Serve with Pounded yam or with any accompaniment of your choice.

    efo riro

    14 comments on “Efo Riro Nigerian Soup Recipe with Pounded Yam”

    1. Jade Reply

      Thanks for the recipe am going to try it this weekend. Fingers crossed i hope i get it down to the T as u demonstrated.

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    4. yemi Reply

      Perfect recipe, yummy results. However, this vegetable (sokoyokoto) is not spinach. Spinach is wot Yoruba call amunututu, its a bigger specie of water leaf.
      This is called amaranthus(edible).

      • afrolems Reply

        Glad you loved it. I actually meant to indicate that shokoyokoto is an option of leaves to use not that it is spinach. I also heard spinach is efo tete. Thanks for coming back to let us know you loved it 🙂

      • afrolems Reply

        Spinach is also known as efo tete and its different from Ugu leaves. Ugwu leaves are called pumpkin leaves but you can still use it for efo-riro if you do not have access to the vegetables typically used for this dish.

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